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"Onward! Keynote: The End of Users"




  > Onward!

 : Invited Speakers : Wednesday

Onward! Keynote: The End of Users

Town and Country Room
Wednesday, 8:30, 1 hour 30 minutes



Mary Beth Rosson, Professor, Pennsylvania State University

Over the past 20 years, user interface designers and usability engineers have studied and refined human-computer interaction techniques with the goal of improving people's productivity and experience. But the target of these efforts "the end-user" is fast becoming a thing of the past. Many people now construct software on their own, building artifacts that range from email filters to spreadsheet simulations to interactive web applications. These individuals are use-developers: they build ad hoc solutions to everyday computing needs.

Will use-developers help to resolve the software crisis? Given the right tools, people and groups may be able to rapidly develop custom solutions to many context-specific computing requirements, eliminating the wait for IT professionals to analyze and engineer a solution. Or are these individuals a danger to society? Use-developers are informal programmers with no training in software construction methods or computing paradigms. They have little intrinsic motivation to test their products for even basic concerns like correctness or safety. In this talk I argue that the transformation of end-user to use-developer is well underway and discuss the prospects for maximizing the benefits to society while addressing the risks.

Mary Beth Rosson is Professor of Information Sciences and Technology at The Pennsylvania State University. She received a PhD in experimental psychology in 1982 from the University of Texas. Prior to joining the new School of Information Sciences and Technology at Penn State in 2003, she was a professor of computer science at Virginia Tech for 10 years and a research staff member and manager at IBM?s T. J. Watson Research Center for 11 years. Rosson was among the earliest researchers to study the psychological issues associated with the object-oriented paradigm, and spent many years developing and evaluating object-oriented tools and training for professional programmers. One of her abiding interests has been the interplay between the concerns of human-computer interaction and software engineering. Recently she has been studying the tools and practices of end-user developers in educational and general business contexts.

Rosson has participated in the OOPSLA conference in many capacities, as a member of the technical program committee as well as the conference committee; she introduced the OOPSLA Educators? Symposium in 1992, the Doctoral Consortium in 1994, and served as General Chair for OOPSLA 2000. She is also active in the ACM SIGCHI community, where she is General Chair for CHI 2007. Rosson is author of Usability Engineering: Scenario-Based Development of Human-Computer Interaction (Morgan Kaufmann, 2002) as well as numerous articles, book chapters, and tutorials. More information is available at http://ist.psu.edu/rosson.